Blowtorch does not date from yesterday and its history begins more than two centuries ago, in France, at a time or this invention was certainly regarded as a true "revolution"



More specifically, it is in 1798 - nine years after the storming of the Bastille - a French made patent which could be likened to the first lamp soldering.
We'll get more in detail, as earlier, already sought to assemble two pieces of metal together.
But we have to talk about, go up more forward in the history of the world.


The invention of metallurgy


Metallurgy has been invented before writing, we will probably never know who was the first sut use gold or natural copper.
It seems that this discovery dates back to the 10th Millennium before J - C! In the 5th Millennium, we knew already pounding and make hot adornments and tools from China to the Caucasus.
It is probably by accident that a man managed to melt the copper and Tin to get a more rigid metal: bronze.
Therefore, began to 3500 BC the famous bronze Age, who succeeded, no less famous Age of the Pierre Taillée. Remember - we these a few (distant) school memories... The appearance of the iron is late (1200) before J - C and curiously corresponds to a period of decline.
Simplicity is not a main feature of human nature, they soon sought the complication: together by melting two pieces of identical or different metal. (Fortunately condensed) history of brazing.
Among the methods used by the man to assemble between metal parts, brazing is certainly the oldest of all.
Known since ancient times, brazing served mainly to make jewelry or ornaments usually in precious metals. These jewels and ornaments being primarily intended for women, it is certainly thanks to you, ladies, that this technique could progress more rapidly...
And so the use of soldering was found on vases, cups and gold and copper alloy jewellery, dating from the year 3200 BCE.
Brazing practiced by the Phoenicians, the Chinese and perhaps by the Indians already had a remarkable knowledge of the role of the flux and filler metals. It should be noted that these elements prevent oxidation during soldering.
Among the Romans, precious metals brazing was using as feed a mixture of copper carbonate, nitre, and urine (!). The fusion was obtained by blowing with rudimentary torches which end was topped with a nozzle in clay.

The latin historian Pliny alludes to welding Tin which appears to have been common at the time (1st century a.d.).

In the middle ages, iron weapons and armor was brazed using a copper - Tin used as filler metal alloy. The examples along these five thousand years are not lacking, and if evolution was slow, the control of the welding continues to grow. Gradually, the practical applications due to this technique changed radically and positively the way of life of our ancestors.
Even today, try to imagine what our world would be if we knew neither melt nor assemble the metal. Certainly, we would succeed in life, of course, but cars would not have the same allure, all ships would be of wood or plastic, even the Eiffel Tower would be not what it is (1 050 846 rivets that are indeed soldered by a process called "hammered soldering white") and especially of what our shelves would be fulfilled...
Just a small summary: a few brains so invented, there are very long, metalworking and soldering. This short sentence summarizes in fact some fifty centuries during which, force of trial and error, were developed these two essential techniques.

The hardest was done!

For his part, metallurgy continued his career in the furnaces, forges or blast furnaces...

Side welding, it then attached himself to create tools to perform this operation in a more appropriate manner.

Since antiquity, the welding was used in the forge, it should be that it is not always easy to carry his forge on sites...

On about properly mastered materials, even if those - ci were very rudimentary. It remained to develop what would provide the heat source for heating of the parts to be bonded, metal intake and in most cases, soldering irons. In this connection, it is curious to note that what we always called a "railway", consists, not of iron or steel, but copper.
Even now, our irons of roofing failures are in copper, even if we think today with the brass to replace.
Close the parenthesis and back to our source of heat which must meet both of the following characteristics: high temperature, continuous flow, possible direction in all sense, great handling and safety. These criteria are still to the taste of the day and constitute a real puzzle for all technicians of accredited studies - including me! -which are responsible to observe these characteristics by adding constraints - crass materialistic! -value and cost...


How one - one on a construction site in the 17th century?

Exclusive use of melted welding required to use a fireplace or Brazier, bulky and inconvenient, set up residence at the place of work. It was a kind of pot heated charcoal, used both for the fusion in the weld and heating irons, one or more aid being responsible for this work. The result was undoubtedly excellent, but the requirements of a more modern industry is plentiful of such methods. It became necessary to invent a portable and efficient instrument...
It is dug so head to invent something more practical: a portable, simple, lightweight, efficient and safe tool. There is also that two hundred years later, these criteria have still not changed...
As often, the idea came from a French, Parisian and man of letters, the citizen Théodore Pierre Bertin.

It was he who first filed patent can be found at the INPI in Paris, registered under the number 22/383 to 407.

It was the 6 Vendémiaire of the year eight, about ten years after the revolution. The 18th century drew to a close, and was just beginning to get used to this new France, or Phrygian caps had replaced the flowers of lys, the no panties and powdery wigs...
His invention is barbarian named "Lamp docimastique or fountain of fire" and was working in the spirit of wine.


The essential features of blowtorch are already found in this unit, and without entering the technical details of its operation, can retain certain aspects.
The presence, for example, a safety valve, the possibility to interchange, the burner (oblique or horizontal), the ability to put the molten copper, weld metals or work the glass clearly show that citizen Bertin was the enlightened precursor expected.
Silversmiths, jewellers, enamellers, or "fake pearls blowers" were already using tools to flame, but their performance then were insufficient for industry and building work. Potters of Tin, for example, used a blowtorch to mouth which consisted in projecting the Stinger of a flame by a trickle of air "blown" by a pipe. This instrument them among others, was the execution of delicate welds on the tableware. Similarly, the torch mouth was very well suited to the very precise work of the watchmaker and jeweler.
The famous invention of the Bertin citizen overthrew the industrial landscape of the 19th century. Thanks to him, the tool to flame became finally laptop and although it is now difficult to assess this invention at its fair value, such an innovation certainly revolutionized the profession of plumbers, caretakers and other roofers at the time. This troubled period was conducive to change, thus the citizen Bertin returned Mr. Bertin and his camera, he also changed his name. It took the habit to name it "EOLIPYLE", but Devil whence so this term so off-putting?
It does not date from yesterday since it must go back to the 2nd century BC so that a Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria, built the first described (Eole: God of wind, pyle: I give; literal translation: giving wind, which is within the reach of all of us...).
It was then only a sphere filled with water that we were to boil. The steam produced, escaping through holes, was thus turn the container.
The principle is quite simple and was therefore applied to the tool used to weld. Its form of course, evolved, he lost in aesthetics that he gained in convenience. He became more compact and more solid.


See annex 1 a small technical description.


The eolipyle had a long career. was discovered around 1850 in certain patents and it disappears in the pages of Manufrance catalogues in 1925.
Its simplicity and low cost have contributed to its exceptional longevity. It was fabricated in six different sizes, steel, copper or brass with a cylindrical or tapered body. We, collectors, call him "Lamp Napoleon" and are looking avidly, today its price may exceed 1 000 F, I say francs, because talking about EUR for an ancient object would almost moved! We can happily find it also priced much, much lower, it is always good to relativize the theoretical "value" of these objects...But he was highly competitive, and even dethroned by a lamp soldering more modern, as our Grand - fathers knew, that you have all seen in an attic or a flea market.
After a rapid overview of metallurgy, from its origins to our days, we talked about the 1st lamp soldering and its creator Théodore Pierre BERTIN, who in 1798 invented the EOLIPYLE
A first step was thus taken but it took many others to arrive at blowtorch so-called 'modern', one which, with all its sisters clutter our shelves...
As you may be, you - even found, the documentation is scarce, especially dating back a century or two! to compensate for this shortcoming, the patents in France or abroad, can help us. But beware, a patent does not necessarily not a manufacture, whether mass-produced or near unit. They however allow us to follow the technical evolution of blowtorch.
I don't have knowledge of patent of this kind appeared in France or elsewhere, during the three decades following that of BERTIN. There may be other cats whipping at this very turbulent time who lives to succeed the Consulate, Empire, and the restoration. It was in 1832, March 31, Sulpice Christophe BREUZIN took an interest in an eolipyle vertical jet powered spirit of wine. It is found in 1835 with a so-called "Auto - Gasifier" lamp, a program... We will note that this Mr BREUZIN is none other than the father of Alfred BREUZIN, who will be talking about him 30 years later.
But not burn the steps and come back at the time which sees unborn finally this industrial Revolution awaited, that or Louis Philippe 1 becomes the "King - citizen".


The eolipyle perfected thanks to Maurice Antoine DUNAND, April 19, 1844, introduced a device that seems relatively practical and effective.
For the record those attending the 5th International meeting of Mouscron in March 2000 have seen work this eolypile! It was unfortunately only to a replica manufactured by a former collector, but the effect was not very striking!
Then, on July 17, 1847, sieur Tallois Jean-Baptiste Sévére filed a patent for a 'lamp clean soldering metals'.
Pictured here the name "described" disappeared and there, in the light of the drawing (see annex 2), that a burner appeared, stepped over to blowtorch so-called 'modern'.
If one wants to follow the chronology of the patent, he must now leave the France and turn to the States - United. More or less United States, moreover, since 1856 civil war brewing but does not preclude a certain Olivier L. LAWSON to make improvements at the U.S. equivalent of our eolipyle, the "blow - pipe". In his patent, dated 13 May of this year, he referred to other devices, previous to his and similar. It is unfortunately unknown what are - they and when date - they. His lamp soldering has interesting enhancements such as safety valve and flame adjustment.
The following patent, filed in 1866, comes from Russia, a country which at that time was at the height of its power, the time change... Its SCHNAKOFSKY author, describes a lamp soldering with burner located above the tank, step by step, we are moving...
Return to the States - United which are reconstituted since, to W.W. WAKEMAN Jr eolipyles (June 11, 1867) and Geo WANIER (December 3, 1867). The devices that they have designed both are almost identical, using the same principle of surface drainage system. We find this construction on the H.G. eolipyles (Henri GAUTREAU, better known for its small stoves). More later and until the 1920s, the line will be internal, and lead under the upper tank, making it the most compact eolipyle.
Much of new patents, resulting from various countries, will be filed over the next decade and will thus define the final form of the eolipyle. Their enumeration would become tedious if it was necessary to mention them all, but each of them brought his stone to the building, both sides of the Atlantic and across Europe, and finally, everywhere, the flame tool progressed slowly but surely...




Annex 1

A (A) container filled with alcohol is heated by a small stove Wick (B). A tube (a) from the top container flows behind the flame of the stove. The entire apparatus is enclosed in a metal housing (C) equipped with handles (b), giving it the appearance of an old Lantern.
Heated alcohol transforms and escapes from the tube (a). In contact with air and the flame of the stove, steam ignites, producing a strong heat, or who at least appeared to be for the time.



Annexe 2